As a vintage blogger I spend a lot of time looking through different vintage stores and websites, and I’m often asked what makes a good store stand out? Good quality vintage is of course a necessity, but great photography is what makes the difference between your vintage clothes looking like a charity shop find and being beautiful quality vintage. Here are my top tips for taking good photos of vintage clothes:
Good lighting is crucial. You don’t have to have your photos professionally taken to get well-lit pictures. Natural light is always good, and will show the colours properly. If you don’t have a well-lit photo studio at your disposal then get outside and take your photos in the great outdoors. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas and see what works for you.
2. Don’t back-light your photos:
This might sound obvious, but if you photograph your vintage clothes with a bright window in the background then the focus of the picture will be the window and your beautiful vintage dress will look dingy and unappealing. Get that natural light going onto your item instead! If you don’t have a good plain backdrop hang a white sheet behind your mannequin, which leads me neatly onto point 3:
3. Do some ironing!
Crumpled clothes just won’t look as appealing as beautifully ironed ones. It doesn’t take long to whip our your iron and get rid of those creases before you take your photo and the end result will be a million times better. This is also true for backdrops. Hanging a white sheet behind your mannequin or model is a great and cheap way of getting good photos, but for goodness sake iron it first otherwise the effect is completely wasted!
This is an obvious point but worth mentioning, as I see a LOT of vintage fashion photos which are out of focus. Crystal sharp please, no blurred photos!
5. Make them big and plenty
Always have your photos as large as you can on your website, not only will this show more detail but it will make the photos more usable for blogs and magazines who will simply disregard photos that aren’t big enough. Also add plenty of different product photos so your customers can see details as well as the item from every angle.
6. Don’t be afraid to use props
A great way of adding some individual character to your vintage photos is to use some props in your photos. This is particularly useful when photographing accessories. You can photograph a vintage necklace draped across a book, over the side of a glass, hanging from the branches of a tree or around somebody’s neck. Use your imagination!
See some innovative photography ideas below or take a look at my vintage fashion features to see which items I’ve selected because of their great vintage fashion photography.
Have you got any great tips for photographing vintage? Share your good ideas in the comments below!
Author: Mary, We Heart Vintage blog